UPR submission Sri Lanka
On 14 July 2022, Lawyers for Lawyers submitted a report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Sri Lanka. The next UPR of Sri Lanka will take place in January 2023.
The report highlights concerns regarding Sri Lanka’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to guarantee the proper functioning of lawyers, without harassment and hindrance, as set out in the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (Basic Principles) and other instruments.
The first issue that is highlighted concerns the harassment of lawyers in Sri Lanka. As lawyers have defended anti-government protesters, they have become subject to hostile rhetoric. Also, lawyers belonging to minority groups have indicated to be subject to more frequent harassment and intimidation.
Another concern that is mentioned in the submission is the criminal prosecution of lawyers in relation to their work on politically sensitive cases under anti-terrorism laws.
Lastly, the submission highlights problems with access to clients and lawyer-client confidentiality. Sri Lankan lawyers report difficulty in locating their clients after their arrest and not being able to have confidential conversations with their clients in detention.
In light of these serious concerns regarding the situation of lawyers in Sri Lanka, Lawyers for Lawyers has made multiple recommendations to the Sri Lankan government.
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